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Safety Management

The key reasons for adopting a safety management system are ethical, legal and financial.








In today’s demanding business world, high expectations are placed on employers to limit the exposure to hazards that employees may encounter in their working environment. The regulatory obligations that are placed on an employer, requires that a safety management system be implemented to identify and control the exposure to risks.

There are three extremely important reasons for adopting a safety management system for a business – these are ethical, legal and financial.

There is a moral obligation placed on the employer to ensure that the working environment is free from risk, the prescribed legal obligations placed on the employer requires that the risk is reduced and the implementation of an effective safety management system has shown that the financial exposure of the business can be limited due to the reduction in the direct and indirect costs associated with incidents and accidents.

To ensure that the safety management system is effective, the business should define how it will manage the risks through a hazard identification risk assessment process that will identify the controls required to mitigate such risk. The safety management system should include the implementation of measurable objectives that are clearly communicated to all departments to ensure that the non-conformances are addressed and the risks are reduced as far as reasonably practicable. This should include the allocation of sufficient resources (finances, time, training, etc.) to achieve the objectives. The safety management system should be evaluated continually to ensure that progress is made in achieving the objectives and should ultimately become part of the culture of the business and the way people perform their job functions.

The safety management system should be designed to meet the individual requirements of each business and should as a minimum address the following aspects:

a) Policies:
Implement policies that define the occupational health and safety targets and stipulate management’s commitment towards the organisational requirements with regard to the resources required to achieve the health and safety objectives.

b) Organisational Structures:
Define how the organisation will be structured by assigning accountable responsibilities and reporting structures.

c) Planning and Implementation:
Determine the requirements of the legislation and standards that are applicable to the organisation. Define the occupational health and safety objectives and implement programmes that will prevent, reduce, review and manage the risk.

d) Evaluation:
Determine how the occupational health and safety objectives of the organisation will be assessed and how progress will be measured. Adopting processes that will facilitate the reporting and investigation of incidents and accidents and what internal and external audit processes should be implemented to review the safety management system.

e) Action for Improvement:
What are the preventative and corrective actions implemented to manage the risks and what processes are implemented to facilitate continual improvement of the safety management system.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of a safety management system is directly connected to the continual support and commitment received from management to ensure that the health and safety culture is driven from the top structures of the organisation and that the personal health and safety as well as the operational safety of the business is addressed, thereby reducing the legal liability that the top structure of the organisation is exposed to.

InDuna Risk Management assists clients by implementing a safety management system in the working environment and recommends the best system of control to mitigate the risks identified.

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